They say one man's terrorist is another's freedom fighter, and seldom has it been more apparent than in the aftermath of the exchange of prisoners between Israel and Lebanon on July 16, 2008. Bloggers across the Middle East are the witnesses of events unfolding in parallel emotional universes, with shared physical borders.
After a one-month war in 2006, when Israel attacked Lebanon, after two Israeli soldiers were abducted on the border, Lebanese paramilitary group, Hizbollah, and the Israeli government have finally negotiated an exchange of prisoners two years later.
In exchange for the two abducted Israeli soldiers, Lebanon has welcomed home four living combatants and 199 dead. Israel has also released one Samir Kuntar, who at home is known as a freedom fighter and a hero, but in Israel stands accused of killing an Israeli man, his 4-year old daughter, and a policeman in the most brutal fashion.
He has been in jail for 29 years.
To make matters worse, the two Israeli soldiers have been returned home in coffins, to the pain and regret of their families, who still held hopes they were alive. What might have been a closing chapter of the 2006 war, has instead re-opened many wounds.
The Israel-Hizbollah prisoner-deal, openDemocracy, 14 July, 2008
Global Voices Posts:
30 Jul – Syria: Forgotten Prisoners and Real Heros
22 Jul – Iranian bloggers react to Israel-Hezbollah deal
21 Jul – Russophone Bloggers Discuss Prisoner Exchange Deal
19 Jul – Brazil: Tears and Cheers for Middle East Prisoner Swap
19 Jul – Israel: Why did Israel Approve the Hezbollah Deal?
19 Jul – Palestine: The Word of the Israeli Against that of an Arab
19 Jul – Tunisia: Where are the State Funerals?
18 Jul – Lebanon: Return of Prisoners – Part 2
18 Jul – Angry Arab: Israel Humiliated in Lebanon
17 Jul – Israel: Intense Emotions Over the Hezbollah Prisoner Exchange
16 Jul – Lebanon: Return of prisoners
If you have suggestions for posts we should be linking to, or if you are a blogger and would like to volunteer to write for Global Voices, email our Middle East and North Africa editor, Amira Al Hussaini.
Photo by ShaharEvron of Mount Hermon, South Lebanon, North Israel. Taken from Jeish (Gush Halav)
Photo by mockstar, border between Israel and Lebanon